KRISTIN HEIDEN // LEAD PASTOR
Rev. Kristin Heiden was appointed to ECUMC in June 2018. She previously served as Associate Minister: Discipleship at Roswell UMC and Minister of Christian Formation at Fayetteville First UMC. Kristin graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Spanish. She then earned her Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School. Kristin is married to Chris, and together they have two children, Ruthie Jeanne (5) and Harrison (3). When not at church, you can find Kristin playing dress-up, building train tracks, or on the tennis court.
Jim Perry // Minister of Congregational Care and Discipleship
Jim was appointed to East Cobb UMC as Associate Pastor in 2002, after serving 14 years in the North Alabama Conference. He “retired” in 2013 but remained on Staff in his present position providing Staff support for the Congregational Care Team, Small Groups, Stephen Ministry, the Faith Community Health Ministry, the Adults-On-the-GO Adult Fellowship, attendance records, and the Church Archives. He also leads the Tuesday Morning Bible Study, assists in worship, and administers our Pastors Benevolence Fund. Jim is a native of North Carolina but has lived all over the Southeast in his 35 year career with the Social Security Administration, overlapping many of his 30 years in ministry. Jim is President of the Kiwanis Club of Marietta Golden K; enjoys reading, traveling, and genealogical research. Sandy and Jim met in college in North Carolina, even though they were born on the same day a half a continent apart. They have three children: Becky, Gwen, and Jamie; and a grandchild, Taylor. They also have fur babies, Mollie, the cat and Teddy, the Cairn Terrier.
Rob Frank // Director of worship arts
Rob joined ECUMC in 1990 as a part-time accompanist for the choir where he met his wife, Terry. They were married a year and a half later in our sanctuary. Rob works with the worship staff to plan the weekend services as well as special music presentations throughout the year. He also leads the worship band for our modern service at 9:30 Sundays. Rob is especially proud of their daughters Shelby, who is now the worship minister at Grace Athens Church and Rachel, as she completes her studies at Georgia College.
SUE HOLM // PROGRAM DIRECTOR OF LIGHTHOUSE ACADEMY
Sue joined the staff in July 2018. She is a native of Ohio, earning her Bachelors of Arts from Kent State University in Political Science. She has taught in the private, public, and preschool sectors for over ten years. She is a mother to four wonderful children, Keldan (16), Freyja (13), Espen (10), and Lykke (7) and loves to hike.
Jay Horton // Director of Communication
Jay Horton is a Colorado-born, Virginia-raised, and Georgia-grown, public relations professional and passionate people-lover. A 2017 alumni of the University of Georgia, Jay has a heart for the spiritual and enjoys helping churches and non-profits curate a unique voice in an overstimulated world. Prior to coming to East Cobb, Jay was the community curator at Roswell United Methodist’s fresh expression, Chapel Roswell. He is a perpetual learner, advocate, and activist for progressive Christian ideals, and strives to consistently beat expectations. When not at work, Jay can be found at any local coffee-shop, running in the woods, or watching a movie with friends.
Annita Iobst // Director of Lighthouse Academy
Annita joined the staff at East Cobb UMC’s Lighthouse Academy in June 2018. Prior to serving the church, she worked as the Human Resources Director for a global engineering firm and director of several preschools. Annita and her husband Matthew have four children, Brandon (21), Olivia (17), Oskar (15) and MJ (9). Each is very active with sports, marching band, and music, making Matthew and Annita busy in the East Cobb Community. When not at work, Annita and her family enjoy long beach vacations and/or time in the Georgia mountains.
Gary Mak // Director of Youth MinistrY
Gary grew up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Royal University (watch your grammar!) and Masters of Divinity from Ambrose University. He met his scholarly-yet-hilarious wife, Chelsea, in Narrative Theology class and moved to East Cobb so she could pursue her Doctorate in Hebrew Bible at Emory University. Prior to working in youth ministry, Gary has held many jobs including pulling baggage from airport conveyer belts, detailing cars, tutoring high schoolers, and leading small groups in Montreal. When not staying up too late for his own good, Gary is usually playing board games, scoring at badminton, or enjoying Bubble Tea with friends.
Rebecca McConnell // Director of Children Ministries
Rebecca joined the staff at East Cobb in January 2018 as the Director of Children’s Ministry. Rebecca married her best friend, Sean, in December of 2014 and they are expecting their first child in October. They have two dogs, Daisy and Duke. Rebecca enjoys crafting, sewing and doing anything outdoors. Rebecca also has a passion for sharing the love of Jesus with kids and helping kids and their families grow closer to God and to each other.
IRa pittman // associate Director of worship arts
Ira has served in Presbyterian and Methodist churches in Decatur, Chamblee, Sandy Springs, Savannah, Roswell, and Marietta. Prior to coming to East Cobb UMC in March of 2016, Ira served 21 years as Senior Organist/Music Associate/Director of Chancel Choir at Mt. Bethel UMC. Ira lives in East Cobb with his husband Bill and two Cocker Spaniels; he is a father of twins and the proud "Paw-paw" to FIVE grandsons and one granddaughter. Ira Pittman received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Education from Ga. State University, with emphasis in Voice, Choral Conducting, and Organ Performance .
Charlene Smith // Business Manager
Charlene joined the staff at East Cobb in January of 2016 as the Business Manager. She is married to her high school sweetheart of 28 years, Kevin. They are the proud parents of three children, Brandon, Blaire and Bailey and one spoiled rescue dog Scout. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies and fellowshipping with friends. After spending numerous years in corporate America, Charlene has spent the last 18 years in Church Administration, working with various churches and pastors. In 2005, she and her husband Kevin founded 2 Him I Owe Financial Services which provides administrative assistance to Non-Profit organizations.